Soda in the bottle. The idea might seem quite absurd at a time when we hunt for hidden sugars and when the fight against obesity is a public health problem. And yet.
A journalist with the Lille branch of Médiacités, Virginie Menvielle has just published a uplifting article about what health professionals sometimes call “coke babies” (Source 1). These are very young children, even toddlers, who have already serious dental problems due to a diet too rich in sugar, and in particular sugary drinks like Coca-cola, Oasis and other Ice-tea.
The journalist surveyed health professionals in the Lille metropolitan area, but also early childhood professionals and teachers. All lament harmful habits for children, of which parents are not always aware.
“We support parents in great social precariousness, who sometimes do not know how to read. They think they are doing the right thing and are not aware that what they make their children consume can be harmful”, thus indicates Stéphanie Leclerc, head of the early childhood center of the Lille metropolis within the Departmental Public Establishment to Support, Accompany, Educate (EPDSAE) of Lille.
Teeth to be removed for lack of a real health policy
“We talk about early caries when they occur in children under six years old. “, explained dentist Angéline Leblanc, author of a thesis on the subject. “We sometimes see one-year-old patients who only have four teeth, all decayed. Only the roots are left and we have no other solution but to extract them.”, she added to our colleague from Médiacités. Because if wealthy parents (who can also fall into the trap of “baby bottle tooth decay”, for example via fruit juice or a sweet bottle) will generally consult at the first alarming signs, parents from more disadvantaged backgrounds will not necessarily react immediately.
At the microphone of Virginie Menvielle, parents, health and early childhood professionals act at their level to stem the phenomenon, for example by distributing prevention flyers, but admit to being a little helpless. They claim a ban on sugary drinks for children under 6 years old, and/or dissuasive labeling, like the logo “prohibited for pregnant women” affixed to alcoholic beverages…
It should be noted that dentists are invited to mention the phenomenon of “bottle decay” during the oral examination of pregnant women, a fully reimbursed examination which must take place between the 4th month of pregnancy and the 12th day after childbirth. . But since this appointment is not compulsory, it is very likely that many future mothers do not go there and do not have access to information concerning the oral hygiene of the toddler.